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J Obes Metab Syndr 2019;28(1):53-60
Association of Relative Handgrip Strength and Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Older Adults: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey VII-1
Published online March 30, 2019
© 2019 Korean Society for the Study of Obesity

Seungyoun Hong

Department of Senior Industry, Kangnam University, Yongin, Korea
*Seungyoun Hong,, Department of Senior Industry, Kangnam University, 40 Gangnam-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin 16979, Korea, Tel: +82-31-899-7210, Fax: +82-31-899-7211, E-mail:
Received February 7, 2019; Revised February 28, 2019; Accepted March 10, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is rapidly increasing with advanced age. Since aging affects sarcopenia and muscle strength, which could, in turns, affect MetS, it is critical to examine the association between MetS and muscle strength in this population. Handgrip strength (HGS) has been introduced as a simple assessment tool for muscular strength. Several studies investigating the association between HGS and the risk of MetS have yield conflicting results. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association of MetS and relative handgrip strength (RHGS) in elderly Koreans.


A total of 1,244 (male, 589; female, 655) elderly subjects (age ≥65 years), who participated in the Seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey VII-1 (2016) were analyzed. Participant’s HGS, body mass index (BMI), MetS, and its five criteria were measured. Subjects were categorized into four groups based on their RHGS, which was defined as absolute HGS divided by BMI.


The highest quartile RHGS group has a significantly lower prevalence of MetS in both men and women (F=35.16, P<0.001 vs. F=31.78, P<0.001, respectively). Moreover, the odds ratio of MetS was 0.52 times lower (0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.31–0.85) in the third quartile RHGS than that of the lowest RHGS, and 0.28 times lower (0.28; 95% CI, 0.17–0.47) in the highest RHGS group in women than that of the lowest RHGS group.


Maintaining a high level of HGS may reduce the incidence rate of MetS in elderly Koreans.

Keywords : Hand strength, Metabolic syndrome, Aged, Muscle strength

March 2020, 29 (1)
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